[Let Us Have Peace]

This article from the July 23, 1877 edition of the Chicago Inter-Ocean argues that a strike cannot be allowed to start in Chicago, or the city will see the same bloodshed and violence as in Baltimore and Pittsburgh. The editors state that violence must not be allowed to flourish; despite the contention between railroad workers and railroad executives, peace should trump workplace disagreements.

Let every respectable citizen in Chicago discourage, by all the means in his power, the inauguration of a strike in this city. The possiblity of a repetition here of the secenes in Pittsburgh and Baltimore should cause all to unite in frowning down any such movement. Chicago can prevent the enactment of such a drama if she will. If our people have any regard for the safety of life and property they will use their utmost influence against such a movement. The gravity of the situation in Pennsylvania and Maryland has induced the President to declare martial law, and, if it becomes necessary, an army of volunteers will be called upon to put down the insurrection. The beginning of a movement in Chicago like that which deluged Pittsburgh with blood, and destroyed millions of property, must be prevented if activity, energy and influence can do it. If all efforts shall fail, then violence must be met and overcome promptly and energetically. We warn the city authorities that this is no time for trifling or inadequate preparation. Chicago must not fall into the hands of a mob. The way to prevent it is first by appeals to the intelligence and good sense of those who are expected to inaugurate the trouble. Failing in this, lawlessness must be crushed with a strong hand at its first appearance. This is no question of railroads and employes. In such a time the dispute between men as to compensation is entirely hidden by the necessities of public safety, and we cannot wait to discuss the former when the latter is menaced. Let the railroad men remember that it is not them and their cause that the people oppose now, but the dire results that follow in the train of violence and which lets loose upon the community thousands of idle vicious and dangerous men, who are waiting to use them as cats' paws to rake their own chestnuts out of the embers. In the midst of the prevailing excitement, and while yet this city is safe, every possible means should be employed to continue public order, and let each citizen form himself into a committee of one to counsel obedience to law. "Let us have peace."

About this Document

  • Source: Chicago Inter-Ocean
  • Citation: page 4
  • Date: July 23, 1877